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The Pacific Symphony Presents THE MAGIC POTION, 1/11

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Orange County, Calif.-Dec. 17, 2013-Donizetti's classically humorous opera, "The Elixir of Love," is brought to life in Pacific Symphony's special adaptation for kids, "The Magic Potion," designed to give children and their families a positive and entertaining introduction to the world of opera. Along with the most captivating arias, sung in English, this 45-minute performance includes original narration and dialogue intended to acquaint children with the first and most natural instrument a person can possess-the exquisite and powerful voice! Led by Assistant Conductor Alejandro Gutiérrez, "The Magic Potion" sends the audience on a hilarious journey with circus clowns, jugglers, a lion tamer, magicians and a magic potion, of course! Guests watch in anticipation as they wait to see if this magical elixir is, in fact, a concoction of wonder or just a silly trick.

Presented by Farmers and Merchants Bank and underwritten by the Honorable H. Warren and Janet Siegel, "The Magic Potion" takes place Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $19-39 and include a Musical Carnival before or after the show (details below). For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.

"Children and families will enjoy the story, the music and the setting we are using to deliver this opera and the comic elements in it," explains Maestro Gutiérrez. "I think they will most enjoy the live singing-the beautiful, different voices of our talented singers and the wonderful melodies of Donizetti's music; also, the fresh and authentic staging by our stage director Peter Atherton, and the always marvelous sound and interpretations that Pacific Symphony delivers."

"The Magic Potion" is the result of a partnership with Chapman University. The ensemble cast and understudies are current students at Chapman. The cast also includes Symphony-favorite and seasoned professional David Stoneman, who is an alumni of Chapman University. Opera Chapman's Director Peter Atherton is the director and script writer. Three of the leads are also played by Chapman music students Kevin Gino, tenor; Emily Dyer, soprano; and Daniel Emmet, baritone, who have the opportunity to sing the arias "Una Furtiva Lagrima," "Prendi, per me sei Libero" and "Come Paride Vezzoso," respectively, with a full orchestra in front of a live audience. The performance also includes Chapman student Natalie Uranga, soprano (who played a role in last season's "The Magic Flute"). Laure Dike, who designs costumes for Chapman, designed both costumes and props for "The Magic Potion," and pianist and music director for Opera Chapman Cheryl Lin Fielding serves as the rehearsal accompanist.

Instead of 18th-century Spain, this kid-friendly production is set in a traveling circus in Orange County. Guests are introduced to the loveable and shy circus worker, Nemorino, who cleans the animals after shows; Adina, who is the circus owner's beautiful daughter; Belcore, the lion tamer; Dulcamara, a traveling magician; and Giannetta, a tightrope walker and notorious circus gossip. Don't forget the jugglers and clowns! In "The Magic Potion," the audience can expect a sense of excitement and humor as they follow the circus characters' lives and the commotion that Dulcamara's magic potion causes. The comedy unfolds as Nemorino tries to prove his love to the beautiful Adina, who has many others vying for her affection.

"One lesson in this story is that no matter how far away things we love look, we can get them if we want them enough and persevere enough," says Gutiérrez. "Faith enables magical and miraculous results. Come and see what happens to Nemorino!"

In addition to the concert, children and families are invited to attend the Musical Carnival beginning at 9:15 a.m. (for the 10 a.m. concert) and 12:15 p.m. (for the 11:30 a.m. concert).

Participants learn how opera singers prepare for performances and facial expressions tell a story. They also have the opportunity to test-drive violins and meet opera singers from Chapman, plus enjoy a live performance in the lobby. The lobby performance reinforces some of the concert's key educational content in a fun and interactive way. There is also an interactive composition activity for children.

It's with performances like these that the Symphony hopes to "introduce children to the world of opera in a fun and engaging way," Maestro Gutiérrez explains. "Many people have the wrong impression about opera without ever having seen an opera in their lives. With our versions of Mozart's 'Magic Flute' from last year and our Donizetti's 'Elixir of Love' ('Magic Potion'), we are trying to show that opera is really enjoyable and fun. Our children will get an introduction about the different voice types, the basic definition of opera and some of the elements that make this musical genre so exciting."

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